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The glass is always greener on the other side

I find this point terribly interesting:  nutrients in the
water column are just as available to algae as plants.  So
why is algae abeyant under conditions when plants thrive? 
Tom has remarked repeatedly that this belies the notion
that plants merely outcompete algae for nutrients --
although other folks often repeat the contrary point.  The
basic competition angle seems so intuitive until you think
about it.  How can the the plants suck the nutrients out of
the water before the algae do when the algae are right
there in the water have mechanisms for using the nutrients
that are as fast as the plants' mechanisms?

Does it spark anyone else's thoughts that the answer(s) to
this question might be a key part of avoiding or fighting
algae -- (duh).  Well, we already know *how* to avoid algae
(although some of us are much less practiced at it than
others -- double duh), we just don't know why it works,

But if it's not competition for nutrients and it's not
alleopathy, what *are* the candidate mechanisms?

Abstract ponderings?  Hardly!

Autumn is coming, or so I've heard tell. When the ambient
temps fall, my tanks drop from their summer 83s to a
precisely maintained 78 degrees.  The transition usually
puts things bit out of kilter.  Actually, it seems to put
some algae into kilter while moving some plants out of it.

Scott H., who is girding for the autumnal kilter transfer.

PS:  I still have enough cladophora left to bring some to
Houston.  Oh boy, who wants some? -- makes your tank very
green ;-)  Also some marvel mystery creature-- it's not a
plant - it's not an algae - it's not even a bacterium - but
it's beautifully blue green and easy to grow under the
right, er wrong, conditions.  Don't all raise your hands at once.

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